Real Madrid CF have completed the signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur FC for a reported fee of €100m.
The versatile Wales winger, 24, joins Madrid on a six-year contract, with the fee eclipsing the €94m the Merengues paid Manchester United FC for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009. Bale departs Tottenham having struck 42 Premier League goals in 146 appearances during six seasons at White Hart Lane, before which he began his career as a left-back with Southampton FC.
"I have had six very happy years at Tottenham but it is the right time to say goodbye," read Bale's statement on Spurs' official website. "We've had some special times together over the years and I've loved every minute of it. I would like to thank everyone at the club - most of all the fantastic fans who I hope will understand this amazing career opportunity.
"I know many players talk of their desire to join the club of their boyhood dreams, but I can honestly say, this is my dream come true," the statement continued. "Tottenham will always be in my heart and I'm sure that this season will be a successful one for them. I am now looking forward to the next exciting chapter in my life; playing football for Real Madrid."
Bale burst onto the European stage with a hat-trick against holders FC Internazionale Milano at San Siro in Tottenham's 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage campaign. However, it was not until last season that he showed his prolific goalscoring prowess. Bale found the net 21 times in 33 league games last term as Spurs qualified for the UEFA Europa League play-offs with a fifth-placed finish.
Madrid will face Juventus, Galatasaray AŞ and FC København in UEFA Champions League Group B, starting with a trip to Turkey on 17 September.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.